Israeli Researchers Develop Flexible Sensor for Use in Artificial Skin
July 9, 2013 3:19 PM
comment(s) - last by
Material has a broad pressure sensing range; could be used to coat prosthetic limbs
It stretches like skin and has tiny
embedded points of sensation
. It's called
, or e-skin for short.
I. A New Skin
The latest e-skin comes courtesy of
Professor Hossam Haick
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
and his team of biomedical researchers who pushed the boundaries of e-skin, creating a flexible sensor that offers similar capabilities to the real biological construct.
The new flexible sensor can "simultaneously sense touch, humidity, and temperature, as real skin can do" and is "at least 10 times more sensitive in touch than the currently existing touch-based e-skin systems."
Creating e-skin is a seemingly daunting task. The eventual goal is to coat prosthetic limbs with
the sensor layer
and then wire it up to the nervous system, restoring patients' sense of touch (or alternatively wire it up to robots to make them more humanlike). However, that's easier said that done.
[Image Source: ATS]
Real skin can sense with great detail a broad array of physical inputs -- humidity, temperature, pressure, and the presence of chemicals. That would generally make for one pricey, power-hungry sensor. But e-skin's requirements force researchers to try to preserve all that sensitivity and multi-sensory inputs in a layer that is relatively cheap and must be able to operate on low voltages.
II. Nanoparticle PET layer Improves Sensitivity
The tiny embedded nanosensors in Prof. Haick's e-skin are beautiful capped nanoparticles. The nanoparticle itself is made of gold and is topped with sensory "prong" molecules called ligands. Prof. Haick describes, "Monolayer-capped nanoparticles can be thought of as flowers, where the center of the flower is the gold or metal nanoparticle and the petals are the monolayer of organic ligands that generally protect it."
[Image Source: ACS/Prof. Haick]
The researchers deposited to the monolayer-capped nanoparticles atop a thin film of polyethylene terephthalate (PET),
the same flexible plastic
that is formed into soda bottles. The result is a conductive layer that responds to bending by bring particles to the surface, which in turn alters the electric properties, creating sensation. The sensor has a broad range sensing from "tens of milligrams to tens of grams".
The team says that the PET/nanoparticle layer will be embeddable within a variety of more complex multi-layer e-skin constructs, which in turn will be used to coat future artificial limbs. The sensors could also be repurposed by civil and mechanical engineers to create failure warnings to detect cracks in parts, buildings, or bridges.
[Image Source: ATS]
Dr. Nir Peled, Head of the Thoracic Cancer Research and Detection Center at Israel's
Sheba Medical Center
-- was not affiliated with the work, but praised it in a university press release, stating, "The development of the artificial skin as biosensor by Professor Haick and his team is another breakthrough that puts nanotechnology at the front of the diagnostic era."
has been published
[abstract] in the peer-reviewed journal
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
. Co-authors include Meital Segev-Bar and Gregory Shuster, graduate students in the
Technion's Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
, as well as Avigail Landman and Maayan Nir-Shapira, undergraduate students in the Technion's Chemical Engineering Department.
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Future generation
7/10/2013 9:08:05 AM
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
New Self-Healing Polymer Acts Like Human Skin
November 14, 2012, 7:34 AM
Ford Focus Electric to Use Recycled Plastic Bottles for Seat Fabric
January 10, 2012, 10:25 PM
Robots Become More Lifelike with Sensory Skin
June 30, 2011, 2:31 PM
Semiconductor Nanowires Used to Develop Artificial Skin
September 13, 2010, 1:01 PM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
Dell Announces "World's Thinnest" Tablet: The Venue 8 7000 Series
September 11, 2014, 8:51 AM
Quick Note: Buy an Xbox One Sept 7-13, Get a Free Game
September 4, 2014, 10:42 AM
Apple Announces Its Smartwatch: The $349 Apple Watch
September 9, 2014, 2:09 PM
T-Mobile Launches Un-carrier 7.0, Beefs Up Wi-Fi Calling
September 11, 2014, 2:56 PM
Russian Hackers Compile List of 10+ Million Stolen Gmail, Yandex, Mailru
September 11, 2014, 11:41 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information